One of the biggest pieces of the pie in managing expenses of an optometry business is staffing. The accepted percentage of overall staffing costs is between 20-25% of gross collected dollars. When you have regular staff turnover this percentage is going to increase accordingly. Most successful practices have learned to find great staff and keep them for years. Too many times you watch new staff come on board and ultimately fail. The presumed reason that they fail is a lack of drive, laziness, costly mistakes, not teachable, and they have no discipline. This mindset is dangerous for the CEO. It is like your friend who has been divorced three times and will talk your ear off about the problems with the women he has been married to. What is ironic is that he is the common denominator. As CEO of an optometry business you must reflect upon your practice culture. Are you the problem that staff continue to fail.
Here are a couple of thoughts to set your new hire up for success.
- Training – Do you have the proper training in place to give your new hire the tools to succeed? Every member of your team should have a written job description and job expectations outline. Whether you are an office of 50 or an office of 3 employees, this is highly important to the success of your staff.
- Assumptions – Do not make any assumptions that your new hire knows from “experience” how to properly adjust frames. There are many opticians that pick up bad habits along the way. Use the training time as a period to teach them “how we do it at Dr. Smith’s” It is always much easier to start off like this then have to correct them after multiple complaints from patients that their frames never fit right. Also, don’t assume that all new hires know how to answer the phone correctly. You should have scripts made out for how to answer the phone and what to say to multiple common questions.
- Own their success – One of my favorite books is the QBQ – Question Behind the Question, which discusses personal accountability. Until you are willing to look in the mirror and ask yourself how you can become a better leader, you are at the mercy of hiring someone who understands how to be successful. When you make the investment to involve yourself in raising up your new hire, the product of your efforts will be a staff member that has complete buy-in to you and your business.